Monday, April 08, 2013

Into The Desert Wild

Last Saturday, March 30, we left San Diego early morning for an adventure road trip into the desert wild. Let me share with you some happy experiences day by day from that road trip.

Day 1 of Road Trip: San Diego to Tucson

San Diego was foggy and drizzling when we left. Passing through the mountains, the fog even thickened rendering the visibility very poor. However, as we descended the mountain, the magic began! In just like a split of a second, the thick fog disappeared to give way to blue sky. Reaching the desert floor, the green bushes and thick trees disappeared to give way to rocks and thorny vegetation.
Cholla and Barrel Cactus, with Ocotillo, at Anza Borrego Desert State Park, San Diego County, California
Then, more magic unfolded before us as we passed by a desert in bloom over dried and cracked mud.  A living testament to a miracle of a drop of water. I can't describe the happiness of seeing a sea of white as far as my eyes could see.
 Prickly Poppies @ Crucifixion Thorn Natural Area, Ocotillo, California
(notice on the bottom left picture how dried up is the soil, yet, desert wildflower blooms )

After taking in the beauty of these vast field of prickly poppies, we continued our drive East, destination: Arizona. After a while of driving, we stopped at a gas station for much needed stretching break, and also for gas refill.

As I got out of our car to stretch, I saw two cars parked next to each other. I thought they were a big group traveling together. As it turned out, there were only four of them. Mom and daughter in one car. Dad and son in the other car. As soon as they got out of the cars, the two kids ran towards the trunk of the car, opened the trunk and took their boogie boards. The kids' happiness was so contagious I could not help but smile. Maybe the little boy saw me smiling, that he waved his hand, returned my smile and said, "hi!"

I said "hi" to him as well. Then asked him, "Going for a vacation to San Diego?"

The little boy replied: "Yes and No! We are going to San Diego, not for a vacation, but moving in! Our parents are driving our two cars. Our major appliances and other heavier things will be delivered by a trusted moving company. Are you you going to San Diego too?"

I told the little boy that we are from San Diego but will be going to Arizona for a week of adventure. The little boy asked me if I do not like the ocean, I assured him I do, only that, sometimes we desire to have a break from what we see everyday. His sister joined in the conversation, both hugging their boogie boards, telling me that they probably won't desire to have a break from the ocean once they are in San Diego. I was smiling since they reminded me of myself when I was their age. I was so much an "ocean kid". Well, until now, but like what I said, I desire to have a break once a while. Later, their parents joined in the conversation, sharing how they both looked for a job there after vacationing, and very thankful they got their wish. They also shared about how their moving is less stressful because they got the best deal for the best delivery because of e-business these days. They found good deal from anyvan in eBay which they contracted to do the moving of their heavy appliances and other things which they said is not expensive at all.

After that brief encounter with the family, we both moved on in opposite directions. They drove Interstate 8- west to San Diego, while we drove Interstate 8-East to Tucson, Arizona.
Saguaros @ Saguaro National Park, Tucson, Arizona
We only had a very quick visit to Saguaro National Park since we reached the place past 5 pm. The park's visitor center and other service areas were already closed. I thought, that even the Visitor Center closes, restrooms would still be opened, but sadly, that was not the case. Because of personal call of nature :) we left the park without waiting for sunset. 
So, as not to make this post very long, let me share with you instead my chosen photos of the day while we were in Arizona. I will share more about the places slowly, one place at a time, in my later posts.

~Chosen photos for each day from our trip: Into The Desert Wild~

Day 2 of Road Trip: Tucson to Sedona via Scottsdale.
Blue Lupines and Goldfield, McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Scottsdale, Arizona (AZ)
( this is my first blue find for my blue-loving friend Zenserly. Each time we go on trip, all she asks from me are "blue pictures", and that special request of searching for blue always adds more joy to the trip)
Nesting Great Horned Owls in Giant Saguaro Cactus, McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Scottsdale, AZ
 Hiking Cathedral Rock, Sedona, Arizona
Hubby on one of the Ledges of Cathedral Rock

Day 3 of Road Trip: Sedona to Holbrook
Hiking Devil's Bridge, Sedona, AZ
( can you see me underneath the bridge? )
Happy Crossing of Devil's Bridge, Sedona

Day 4 of Road Trip: Holbrook to Flagstaff ( my 2nd blue find for Zen)
Petrified Wood and Colored Badlands at Blue Mesa, Petrified Forest National Park, Holbrook, AZ
( this was the first petrified wood I closely encountered. Though later, I was close to giant petrified woods in the rainbow forest, but first encounter were always special)
I Was totally Blown Away By the out of this world Landscape in Blue Mesa

Day 5 of Road Trip: Flagstaff to Page via Marble Canyon
 Marble Canyon
 3 Rare and Endangered California Condors in Flight at Vermillon Cliffs National Monument
(photo by hubby)
Vermillon Cliffs National Monument

Day 6 of Road Trip: Page to Kanab
 Lower Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
 Lower Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
Horseshoe Bend, Page, AZ
Day 7 of Road Trip: Kanab to San Diego
We had to wake up early in the morning to be able to enter lottery for a hiking permit for THE WAVE. Only 10 hikers will be given permit, out of 128 applicants for that day. We were not lucky to get a hiking permit to THE WAVE, but.... no sadness, we had a WONDERFUL VACATION in the AMAZING DESERT, with an added bonus, I found SPIDERMAN, see below?
 MY SPIDERMAN :) haha!
My Spiderman Turned Indiana Jones @ Pipe Springs National Monument, AZ
Desert in Bloom ( evening primrose, desert marigold and Joshua Trees)
Too many pictures in one post, I know. Sorry for that overload. Expect more from each place as I share the details of our hikes and other exploration in the amazing desert wild of Arizona.
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  1. oh my! yey!!! blue photos for me!!!! so honored and happy as happy can be Betchai!!!! thank you oh so much!!! gee did you really cross devil's bridge? how did you hike it? hahahaha, hi there "spiderman" always find a way to show us how fun it is to be wherever you are always I can not stop saying wow!!!! I bet had the circumstances been different you would have joined the kids boogie boarding! hugs from across the miles!!! wishing I could join you there one sweet day...:)

  2. Lucky you.

    May I be in one day as lucky as you.

    And I'll shout, "Hi, I am coming."

  3. Look at those huge towering cacti! :D

  4. Wow...the photos of the Lower Antelope Canyon are really stunning. Worthy or everyone's bucket list. :p

  5. Simply breath taking! Maybe I'll consider going back to San Diego next time to explore it and even visit Arizona and Utah for more nature hikes.

    I love all your pictures. I wish I saw the same spring blooms in New York.

  6. I am also an ocean person. But OH MY GOSH! The dessert photos are wonderful! I want to explore the Lower Antelope, too. There's a dessert somewhere in Ilocos that I want to see and some rock formations in Biri Island that I want to explore. I hope I can have a change of going there before exploring other countries.

  7. wow, breathtaking, this is glorious, I often see this in geography books but its different when there's up close pics like this... awesome!

  8. The picture with the owls really made me smile for some reason. Something as simple as that giving us so much joy is a wondrous thing.

  9. weeeeeeee, na excite naman ako with all the photos esp that of your spiderman. hehehe! saw some of the photos from his FB and made a mental note your next post is gonna be one awesome travel post as always. :)
    wish i could bring my spidey there one day and join you guys. :D


  10. desert and flowers and great canyon...
    really wow

  11. I only sees these scenery when watching Cowboy films. Your photo of Lower Antelope is so fascinating. Another great online tour for me. Thanks betchai.

  12. That picture of your hubby on one of the Ledges of Cathedral Rock and that one of yours above the Devil's Bridge are kinda scary for me. The desert photos are very impressive.

  13. wow, great pictures...i feel like touring the area also with your stories, thanks for sharing! i keep coming back to your day 5-7, stunning view, must be really awesome to be there! :)

  14. Wow, beautiful scenery and how great to see condors in flight!

  15. All are breathtaking, Betchai. I can't find any adjectives to describe about the photos but one thing for sure,you and your husband had a wonderful time there. I know there is a huge difference by looking the picture than seeing in person. I love to see this in person.Thanks for the virtual tour

  16. Goodness heavens! Love those amazing path you took to Canyon, just a sight to behold!

  17. 'Te Betchaii! I am held speechless! AS in WOW! I can't believe I am actually seeing these glorious photos here at your blog. I am very much impressed!

    Just like Mhie, I totally ran out of adjectives to give an appropriate description of this beautiful escapade of yours. This must be something unforgettable! I admire your sense of adventure as always, Te Betchai. Your synergy is so infectious which makes me want to travel and explore the world like you do. Thanks once more for this marvelous online tour. Hugs!

  18. The Lower Antelope and the Landscape of Blue Mesa... they are so beautiful... all of the pictures are pretty sights. It must be very beautiful to see the places in person. :) you and your hubby are lucky to be in these places. :) Thank you for sharing these marvelous sights...

  19. So much beauty on this earth, and brought home so close through your gorgeous photos!

  20. Breath taking views and what an amazing shots you got :-) Looks like the family had a wonderful time exploring the beauty of the nature :-)

  21. Wow! What an adventure it was!

    Isn't it scary in the Lower Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ Ate Betchai? It seems like to me though, but its still look amazing!

  22. Awesome photographs you have here. Every bit of it made me say, "Thank you God for these wonderful places." (lencilicious)

  23. It sounds like such a wonderful trip!